We will gladly post reader submissions like this ANYTIME and your help with discussing issues in Alexandria is ALWAYS appreciated. You can submit items about whatever topic you want to talk about in Alexandria – just please keep it clean. Simply contact me if you’d like to contribute and/or have something posted.
UPDATE (11:15 AM):: ACPS says A/C functioning again at Hammond.
UPDATE (10:43 AM):: ACPS responded to our reader submission on Twitter (see below)…
A concerned citizen reached out to us about a major concern at Francis C. Hammond Middle School which, according to the email, the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) has yet to provide a solution. Are you a parent of a sixth grader at Hammond, or a teacher? What are your thoughts on this?
Dear Red Brick Town
Hello, I apologize for having to use this forum, but I was hoping you could use your platform to help raise awareness about the atrocious teaching and learning conditions in the sixth grade wing at Francis Hammond Middle School. The central air conditioning unit has been inoperable since April, and classroom temperatures are routinely 85-90+ degrees.
There have been reports of teachers and students feeling lethargic, faint, and dizzy and suffering nosebleeds, dehydration, and migraines; unsurprisingly, discipline issues have skyrocketed. Day after day, teachers and students return to the same hostile environment with no more than a “thank you for your patience” acknowledgement.
At last, the district attempted to provide some portable air conditioning units to some classrooms. These lucky classrooms are not so lucky, however. The units do very little to move the hot air; the building is so warm now that even the concrete walls are giving off heat. The building systems manager was at the school today inspecting the system–and his shirt was drenched in sweat.
While savoring the cool of their own offices, the administration has suggested unrealistic solutions such as borrowing other grade level’s classrooms for 1 or 2 periods . This is a continuous attempt to place a band-aid over a basic health and safety issue. Moreover, other wings at Hammond are now starting to have A/C functioning issues as well.
We have received no real updates from ACPS despite numerous phone calls and e-mails. It appears that this is not affecting enough of the ACPS population –or enough of the ACPS population that “counts”– such that a real solution will be found. We are almost in our third month of this chronic, dangerous and completely unacceptable issue.
Please speak out for us. Our basic rights for a safe teaching and learning environment are being repeatedly violated and ignored. It is time for ACPS to actually resolve this issue, or shut down the building until it is safe to return to work.
Thank you for your time.